Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has admitted in an interview with ESPN that he finds the idea of paying in the region of 100 million euros ($133.9m) to sign Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale excessive.
Speaking to the channel in the United States, where Madrid beat Chelsea 3-1 in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday, Perez did not deny that his club have been in negotiations with Tottenham regarding Bale, even if reports in the Spanish press indicated that a proposed meeting with opposite number Daniel Levy in Miami did not take place.
However, he hinted that he may be unwilling to meet the demands of the Spurs chairman, who wants a world-record fee to part with Welsh star Bale.
"We speak to a lot of people, and we will see what happens in all of our negotiations, both concerning this player and others," Perez said.
"But we don't often talk about other players, out of respect to the player, their club, and the president, who is a friend of mine. We developed a good friendship last season when we signed Luka Modric.
"If I don't talk about players, I don't talk about money, (but) 100 million euros seems like a lot to me, for anything."
Reports last weekend suggested that Bale was close to completing a move to the Santiago Bernabeu after missing Tottenham's friendly defeat away to Monaco on Saturday.
However, Levy is said to be holding out for a transfer fee in excess of £105 million (122 million euros, $163m) while Real were said to be looking to strike a deal at around £85 million with a makeweight, possibly Fabio Coentrao, thrown in.
Bale scored 26 goals for Spurs last season and was voted the Professional Football Association (PFA) Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year and the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year.
Meanwhile, Perez added that he hopes the club can tie down Cristiano Ronaldo - who joined Madrid from Manchester United for the current world record fee of 94 million euros in 2009 - to a new contract in the next few weeks.
The 28-year-old Portuguese star's existing deal expires in 2015 but Perez hopes to keep him at the club for the remainder of his career.
"We are all convinced that Ronaldo will finish his career at Real Madrid," Perez said. "I think we will try to resolve this issue by the end of the summer. The season starts next week, but we hope to resolve it by the end of the month or the start of next month.
"We are not in a great hurry when the desire is there. We will resolve this satisfactorily. At least that is my desire and I think his too."